Heart in Motion by Amy Grant, April 15, 1991
DISCLAIMER: This review is my opinion and mine alone. Do not send threatening emails and/or comments.
1991 seemed like the year that Contemporary Christian artists crossed over into mainstream pop. What we have here is a good example of such music. Ms. Grant tore up the chart with her secular album Heart in Motion. But this album was also a Christian pop album too.
1991 was also the year that my parents’ marriage started to crack; it began on February 15th of that year. My sister Josephine was born that day. She was to pass away two and a half months later. While this was going on, Amy Grant seemed to be in the background of everything. WRZE 96.3, the local station out of Nantucket played her tracks mercilessly. This was also a station that didn’t have a set playlist, and played whatever they saw fit.
The album opens with the bouncy Good for Me. This song is as sappy as they come. The synths bounce around like it’s nothing, and the drum machine tries to keep up (it does, but it takes work.) Continuing the ride on the sap train we come up to Baby Baby. This song was everywhere in the spring of ’91. You couldn’t escape it, it was in stores, on the radio, and malls. Baby Baby is about her child (poor kid). What’s even sappier is Every Heartbeat. This is a thinly veiled song about Jesus. It’s painfully obvious, I mean come on… “Every heartbeat bears YOUR name.” If that’s not about Jesus, then I don’t know what is.
But wait, there’s something even sappier: That’s What Love is For. This song too was everywhere, you couldn’t escape it, and it possibly drove people nuts. The album takes a darker turn on the track Ask Me. The song is about molestation, and asking her if she thinks there’s a god up in the heavens. This song is probably the darkest I’ve heard Ms. Grant sing. But what makes the song borderline saccharine are the backing synths and guitars. You know Vince Gill wasn’t playing on this (probably just some studio musicians.)
Galileo is the next track, and it’s, well, it’s stupid. The lyrics make almost no sense and there is no rhyme or reason to it. The song is just filler. First, we had darkness with Ask Me, then this.
You’re Not Alone follows this shit show of a song. It has what I think is one of the greatest guitar solos on a Christian song (Stryper notwithstanding.) This is probably the hardest she rocks, and it’s all in the name of Jesus folks. Hats is probably the only decent pop song here. I cannot believe I just said something positive about Ms. Grant’s effort. The lyrics are juvenile however. Hats seems like it’s a protest song, but it’s just about being a good Christian. The noodling on the bass gets on my nerves quick. “Why do I have to wear, why do I have to wear hats?”
I Will Remember You was yet another single released from this album. Back when 9/11 happened, someone edited the song to include dubya’s voice. I get that it was about the tragedy, and I respect that. When I moved to Saint Louis, KEZK 102.5 played this on the Delilah Show (She’s the queen of sap, folks)
The last two songs are purely about Jesus. I had to turn the album off because it is so sappy. I don’t know why I’m so averse to this album. Could it be because my views of my higher power can’t be expressed with music? I do not know why. If you’re into sappy pop songs that are so cloying they hurt your teeth, then Ms. Grant is your artist.
Is it shit?
My god, is this album shit. It’s trite. Incredibly dated now, but still able to be heard in churches and/or Christian radio stations. Bible thumpers look down on Amy because she committed adultery, but who am I preaching to? Being exposed to this shit when I was a little kid probably screwed me up some, but not much. I guess Amy was trying to make the world a happier place, because look at what happened around the time this was released: Desert Storm. Aside from “From a Distance” by Bette Midler this must be the sappiest music that has hit my ears. Avoid this album like the plague.